Today I sit in my home office. It’s Father’s Day. I won’t lie, I’m glad that I’m taking the summer off from using social media. Then I don’t have to see all of the posts and pictures that remind me of today and the upcoming holidays and celebrations.

My morning started with the reality of what this holiday means for so many people around the country and beyond; what this holiday always meant to me growing up as a child and even for several years as an adult; and now what it means to me 17 years after the passing of my dad—the man who was my business associate, my workout partner, my coach—and will always be my father, my friend, and one of my guardian angels.

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My collegiate track and field days were short-lived. After skipping the season my junior year in high school and having an awful senior year season I steered away from the track while attending Santa Ana College (Rancho Santiago Community College). But the sprinter’s bug bit me while attending California State University, Long Beach (affectionately known as “Long Beach State”).

I’ve shared this story before. It’s one that helps me, inspires me, encourages me, and puts some fire under my butt to be proactive.

I keep this shirt as a reminder that nothing great comes without hard work, excuses don’t amount to much, being early means you’re always on time, don’t give up on your dreams, and even through adversity you must pray and push yourself as though there are no obstacles. It also is a reminder to listen to God’s voice above and despite all others.

It was Spring Break 1996. I was injured during track practice.

Coach wanted to punish me and make an example out of me for the rest of the team. I was late to practice. I got stuck in traffic coming from Pomona (the only sprinter who lived off campus and the only member of the track team who lived that far from campus).

Coach devised a workout for me that was so intense that my teammates painful faces let me know that they felt awful for me.

I was in the fifth lane and I was doing my sixth 120 meter sprint. I would have four more and then sets of 240s, 440s, and one 600 meter run, followed by a light session in the weight room.

I pushed off of the blocks. I could never jump that high in the air until that day, until that moment.

Pushing off of the blocks that “rubber band” in the back of my thigh snapped and coiled up towards my glutes, and I shot up high off of the ground and then what felt like slow motion I fell back to the ground and flat on my face—hard.

It was raining outside, so the beating drops of water didn’t help. But they did blend in well with the tears that streamed down my face. My dad trained me to never cry on the track, so as I tried to cover my face I was finally grateful for this pouring rain. My teammates ran over to me and while one rushed to get the training staff, the others consoled me.

Coach stood by with a mixed look of concern and shock. He knew I was giving him 100% of myself in that workout, and he also knew that he denied me a proper warmup as the first part of my punishment. I begged to have equal time warming up as my teammates were given, even three-quarters of the warmup would help. He cut my warmup by more than half. He said “you will learn the importance of being on time after today“.

Had my body been properly warmed up, like the rest of my team, like what I was accustomed to, the likelihood of me injuring myself was slim. I looked into his eyes asking what my mouth couldn’t, “why?”

The training staff rushed out on a cart and when they saw I couldn’t walk they, along with my team members had to lift me and place me on the cart. One of my teammates grabbed my workout bag and brought it to the training center.

After preliminary tests it was initially thought that I had a hamstring pull. It would take several grueling weeks to heal and recover.

I was sent home with crutches and since I didn’t have anyone to drive me home (that’s a long story about a boyfriend who didn’t believe I was as injured as the training staff said I was so he refused to come get me) so I drove with my left leg for the hour-plus it took to get home, narrowly avoiding an accident when I hydroplaned (I will skip the other dramatic parts of this story).

I cried all the way home. I cried in bed wondering how I would heal from this unbearable pain. I spent the rest of Spring Break at home. The training staff gave me anti-inflammatories. They warned me of the potential liver and kidney damage. Since I didn’t take medicine I only took a few pills and left the rest alone.

Rehabbing my leg was at times unbearable. I had to go immediately to physical therapy that Monday. I couldn’t make those crutches work for me and if you know California State University, Long Beach then you know how huge that campus is. I couldn’t carry my backpack and figure out the crutches. So I got rid of the crutches. I would have to make due and force my left side of my body to overcompensate for my right.

Coach suggested that I take a natural supplement to help with my recovery. The guys on the team took it. I went to the health food store and got some. Coach had regularly scheduled sessions for us to meet individually and as a group with the team psychologist. She gave us visual training techniques and other aides. But honestly I was mentally and physically in pain. The girls on the team explained that Coach gives preferential treatment to the boys and I would just have to suck it up and face the reality they knew all too well. I continued my grueling rehab sessions and focused on my school work.

I spent a couple of weeks rehabbing when Coach demanded that I return to the track. He needed points. I ran the 100 meter, 200 meter, and the first leg of the 4×100 meter relay team. He needed points.

Despite the arguments of the training staff who said I was weeks away from being good enough to run, my concern that I still had a crater in the back of my thigh, Coach’s voice was louder, and the trainers complied by signing off on my release. I could see the concern on their faces.

When I returned to the track it wasn’t the same. I was still injured, still trying to heal, and after weeks of taking that supplement I was also now about 10 pounds heavier (when I was already trying to get my weight down and body fat percentage lower). My teammates faces said what I knew, I wasn’t ready and I could make my injury worse. But I went out there anyway. I was a walk-on trying to get a scholarship and I knew the times I needed to get in order to be awarded that scholarship by the Athletic Director. He said if I nail those times I had the scholarship. I had already read and signed the huge NCAA packet. I just needed to do my part. Get those times.

Well how can I say this accurately…

I sucked. In every race I ran.

It would’ve been better to get someone from the cross-country team to run for me. No offense. But what returned to the track wasn’t a healthy, fully conditioned sprinter. Someone in middle school could’ve beat me in a race. I was injured and trying to carry around more weight, but the stop watch doesn’t consider those factors–and fans don’t know what’s going on—my times said I was just slow, my place crossing the finish line said I was slow. Not the slowest in my heats, but not fast enough to get my team the points Coach expected. Not fast enough to compete at other big meets, like Oregon.

I also was no longer eligible to compete indoors when the time came. I hadn’t healed. My strength and speed weren’t up to par.

Imagine if I had only left my house an hour earlier, even if I would’ve been on campus much earlier than our practice time, even with the traffic, I would’ve been to practice on time and Coach wouldn’t have punished me. I most likely also wouldn’t have injured myself. Hindsight is always 20/20 and the shoulda woulda coulda doesn’t matter.

Interesting enough during post-season a doctor checked my leg and said, “had you continued training as your coach expected this hamstring tear would’ve led to permanent damage“. My mouth felt like it hit the floor.

I loved sprinting. I loved the intensity of the races. I loved training harder after a loss. I loved the smell of the grass infield and surrounding the track. I loved feeling the different types of tracks, some springier than others, some feeling like wood. I loved the competition and the camaraderie. I loved feeling myself run. I loved the freedom that running provides and how sharp your mind must be to blot out distractions, while being relaxed enough that your jaw and lips jiggle as you run.

My track and field career ended in 1996. It took me 5 years to get my mind and body stronger than it had ever been, faster than high school and college. I contemplated returning to the track with a track club to run in the Master’s meets and races. But when my dad passed away in 2001, that dream and the dream of competing in Power Lifting also passed away.

Dad was my coach, trainer, motivator, and butt-kicker. Who else could train me like him? Who else could get in my head and help me to see things like he did? Who else could cuss me out and get away with it like dad? My answer was simply, “no one“.

So I stepped away from it all.

Honestly, those were some of the biggest mistakes that I’ve made in my life because I know that my dad would’ve wanted me to pursue every dream I had no matter what. I used him to make excuses for my fears. I dishonored him, his memory and his legacy to protect myself.

I find myself still doing that, still making excuses, still leaving dreams by the wayside, still not getting consistent help for the hurt, pain, and anger.

When will I grow sick and tired of being sick and tired? When will I make the decision to make my dreams a reality? When will I stop making excuses and start putting in the work? When will I stop living a life of conditional mediocrity and return to a life of excellence?

When I made the decision in 2001 to stop training as an athlete, my mind and body stopped receiving the level of intensity and feedback they needed to thrive, and my spirit has also been challenged.

It’s been 17 years since I last consistently trained as an athlete. That’s 17 years of being off balance and existing with a void. My mind is sharper when I’m training. My body is healthier. My attitude is better. My outlook is focused and broad. I accomplish more in other areas of my life.

Time waits for no one. Whatever I want I must go get it. Laziness gains nothing positive. One step at a time. One day at a time. I may not have an interest in competing in track and field anymore, but I most definitely have a desire to getting my mind, body, and spirit realigned.

Age is an excuse for not reaching for better, for more, for what is attainable—for what God has before you, just for you.

Now is the time.

~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha L. Foreman/Natasha Foreman Bryant. All Rights Reserved.

If you’re reading this, pause right now and say “thank you” to God, our Creator, because today wasn’t promised and you didn’t do anything yesterday to earn today. So show your gratitude and don’t let today be about you, let it be about God, and about His children. 

Today I’m honoring my mother, my grandparents and our family…  

My Mom: Gwendolyn (“Gwen”)

Monday and Tuesday’s scriptures shared in Breaking Bread, were sent to me from my mom, and I posted them as they were worded. I didn’t ask if they were her words or just forwarded from a third party. It didn’t and doesn’t matter. 

It’s the thought that my mom, pauses in her hectic day to spread God’s Word, Love, and Light.  

I want to thank her and honor her because she’s a giver, not a taker, and because through her walk in life I’ve learned so much about her, our family, and myself. 

While working a full-time job, my mom is also working extremely hard to take care of her mother’s needs, and to make sure that my grandmother spends her Golden Years with dignity. To make all of this happen my mom has to sacrifice so much in return—something she hadn’t planned for or thought deeply about before. 

Reading her Bible each day gives my mom the added layer of strength, courage, discipline, humility, faith, and belief that she needs to refuel and press forward. It’s not easy being away from me and my sister, and away from the state she desires to grow roots in, but she sacrifices the desire to spend quality time with us, to instead spend quality time with her mom, and to reconnect our large family in a different way. 

My mom uprooted herself to go back and live in a state she hadn’t resided in for almost 30 years (she was 6 years younger than me when she last lived there)—just to take care of her mother. She was only supposed to be there a few months to help with some small matters—or so she and I thought. It’s been two years and that reality bites at her core, and it stresses me and my sister out. 

But rather than dwelling on it until she spirals out of control, she looks for and to God’s Light. She sees and embraces the blessings along this journey. Some good and great things, both big and small, have come her way every single day she’s been there. 

My mom has also been forced out of her comfort zone. So things that she avoided doing while in Atlanta (or even when we lived in California), she now does, and she’s loving the peace that comes from stepping up and stepping out. She doesn’t have to wait for others to join her for an activity. If my mom wants to go to a concert or other event, she’s getting up and going by herself. I’m so impressed with her growth. She’s not going to waste anymore time and opportunities. 

Even when my mom gets blindsided by alarming news, incompetence of others, bureaucratic red tape, and lack of genuine support from where she needs it most—-my mom still finds the silver lining in those storm clouds. She’s an inspiration to me! I love my mother!

My mom takes care of her mom because she’s supposed to, because God says so, because my grandmother raised and took care of her and now is the time to fully reciprocate. My mom takes care of her mom because that’s what she would want me and my sister to do for her. My mom wants for my grandmother the same things she wants for herself. The same things most of us want for ourselves, now and in our more “seasoned” years. 

Over the past two years my mom has successfully brought her family together for dinners and events. Her mother’s siblings, nieces and nephews, and at times even the grandkids. My mom wants my grandmother and her siblings to spend as much quality time together as they can. 

It’s beautiful to see immediate and extended family members hanging out, smiling and laughing, reconnecting and sharing, breaking bread together. I thank my mom for helping make that possible. 

I’ve seen cousins that I’ve never met before or haven’t seen in more than 15-20 years. Distance and time has kept many of us apart, but now through the momentum my mom has created, I truly believe this tradition can continue and will grow. I can visualize us hosting our own family reunions for our ever-growing side of Catos, Butlers, and Stephens. We of course will continue going to the huge annual family reunions across the country, but we can also have our mini “Sunday Dinner” reunions to keep us connected as a unit. 

I do my best to help my mom however I can. I’m working to regain my strength so I can do more, physically to help out at my grandparents home. Mom and I have been working hard to preserve and celebrate the legacies of her parents and our family. 

My Grandmother Maxine  

My grandmother, Maxine (the grandkids call her “Mamacine”), is in her early 80s and is fighting Dementia. You see it in her eyes. She is a fighter. Our family ignored the symptoms. Looking back in hindsight, some of us can see what we overlooked for years. This once-jet setter is now confined and restricted mentally, emotionally, and in many ways physically and financially (because she doesn’t have the freedom she once had even several years ago). 

This isn’t how my grandmother envisioned her retirement years. She saw herself traveling and spending quality time with family and friends. She was a keeper of memories, and as you sort through the things in her house you see the things she did and items she kept for family members. I wish I had recorded my phone calls with her pre-2013, I would be able to cherish our laughs, the stories she would tell, the warm memories she would reflect upon, the corny jokes she would tell and the side-splitting jokes that I would blunder trying to later repeat. 

My mom is driven to give my grandmother access to the type of environment, people, and resources that will lift her up in dignity, so that she can truly live and feel the love of her remaining years—no matter if it’s less than 10 years or more than 20 years. My mom wants to make sure that they are dignity-rich years. She wants to honor her mother, a retired entrepreneur, and preserve her awesome legacy.

My Grandfather Elisberry

 
My maternal grandfather, Elisberry, aka “E.L.” and “King Fish”, passed away in 1995 from work-related asthma, after spending one of his retirement days doing something in service of others. He gave and gave that day and overlooked the urgency of his symptoms, and by the time he made it home to give himself a treatment his lungs and body gave out. In his selflessness he sacrificed his life. My mom and I want to honor his amazing legacy, and guess what? We will do just that in the name of Jesus! 

I love every time my mom calls or texts me about a photo, note, letter, book, video, newspaper clipping, or other memorabilia that she has found in my grandparents home. To see photos of my cousins, my grandparents and great grandparents, my aunts and uncles, and family friends—it all brings me such joy, and even more so because I know that my grandmother was holding on to those things and was trying to hold on to those memories as her short-term memory began to fade faster and faster. 

So my mom works aggressively each day to separate the captured memories from the daily clutter that accumulated, so that my grandmother can walk back into her home and see and feel the memories and love she so longs to hold on to. 

My face today, my grandmother doesn’t recognize (she didn’t even recognize me at my 2013 wedding), but my faces from my past she knows. Just as she knows my cousins and her siblings from images of years ago. Soon my grandmother will be surrounded by these photos and many of these people, and we will reminisce over times well spent. We will cherish every smile and giggle she makes, and every story she can remember to tell. We will record these moments to share with generations yet born. 

Our family legacy is preserved or destroyed based on our actions today and tomorrow. My mom is determined to preserve the legacy of her parents, her family, and encourage other generations to do the same thing. 

Watching my mom these past few years has both hurt me and helped me. It’s hurt to watch her physically and emotionally in pain trying to accomplish what some people half her age would struggle (and possibly fail) to do. At the same time she has helped me to see life through her lens. I can now see how best to protect her now and in her Golden Years. I can see how to be the type of advocate that she is desperately trying to be for her mother. I can see the importance of taking the time to sort through the tangible and metaphoric clutter to get to the treasures that bind us to family, our communities, this world, and God. 

Preserving and Celebrating My Grandparents Legacy: What We Sometimes Don’t Learn Until Later in Life  

My grandparents epitomize what it means to be hardworking, God-fearing, and humble. 

My grandfather was one of the most honorable, gracious, loving, dependable, fair, faithful, and determined people that I’ve ever known. His lack of formal education did not stop him from accepting life’s challenges, having a long-lasting career, providing for his family, raising his children to achieve higher educational milestones than he, owning a house and turning it into a home (that I intend to restore and keep in our family for generations to come). 

My grandmother was an entrepreneur for roughly 40 years. I didn’t realize how much she taught me about being an entrepreneur. Heck, how could I? 

I didn’t even realize that all of those years growing up as a child I was watching my grandmother, the entrepreneur, in action. I just knew I liked going to work with her. I thought I was just watching a hard-working female barber working alongside nothing but men, with clientele who were also men. Here my grandmother was working in a male-dominated (segment of an) industry from the 1960s through early 2000s. She could hang with the men and lead barbershop talk, and no one questioned her place or role in their inner-circle. 

In my opinion my grandmother retired too early. But she wanted to travel more, see the world, and have more flexibility in her life and schedule. Unfortunately she still hasn’t seen parts of the world she dreamed about, so I send her photos and postcards whenever I travel. 

She always wanted to travel to the state of Hawaii, but we waited too long to plan a family trip and now because of the unpredictability of dementia, last year we chose to instead host a mini luau for her at a local park. She wore her lei and looked around in amazement at all of these faces that sang happy birthday to her, and she sat there wondering why they were celebrating her birthday so early since, “my birthday isn’t this month,” she repeated.    
I will always cherish the photos and videos from that day. 

I will make sure to do my part to preserve my grandparents, my parents, and our families legacies. My doctor told me that every time I’m with family that I need to take photos and record videos, because tomorrow isn’t promised, so we need to preserve and cherish today. 

What will be of your legacy? What will people say about you and your family? 

Why I Share This Story

 
I share this story about my mom, her parents, and our family to share with you that we never know what tomorrow will bring that will derail our plans. But God never fails us. When times get rough you need to stay prayed up. If you have a close bond with your family, you need to interlock your arms and lift each other up in prayer. If your family is disconnected, you need to do your part to realign your unit through prayer and actionable steps. 

Forgive and ask for forgiveness. Heal old wounds. Let go of grudges from the past. Accept your flaws and the flaws of others, and rather than dwell on limitations—embrace the strengths that you all possess. We are only as strong as our weakest link!

Don’t let pettiness divide your family. You may not have a tomorrow to make things right. Don’t allow yourself or your family to be content in mediocrity, for that lifestyle is an insult to God. You should be striving for greatness in all things—personally, professionally, spiritually, financially, and civically. 

You have an opportunity to make right the wrongs, to live your remaining days with dignity and honor, and serve as God intends—fully and without hesitation or regret. 

Who will you honor and celebrate today?

Thanks mom. I love you!!!

Love always and forever,

Natasha 

Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. Natasha Foreman Bryant

By Natasha Foreman Bryant
 
 I shared these exact words in my Breaking Bread blog a few moments ago, but I know that not everyone who reads this blog also follows my Breaking Bread blog. So I share these with all of you….
 
 Last night my dear friend, Carman, called me and painfully muttered the words that I knew would come one day, but never knowing when—she told me her father David had just passed away. David had been fighting Alzheimer’s for several years now and it was taking its toll on David, Carman, and their family.
 
 But in David’s passing I don’t see things as though he ‘lost the battle’ to Alzheimer’s, instead I see things differently. I see that David had the opportunity to spend time with his family and be cared for by his family. During his battle his family was faced with the option of embracing change or resisting it, and they were faced with a reality that they definitely weren’t prepared for or desired. David’s battle challenged his family. David’s battle has strengthened my friend Carman, and their family. They may not see it right now because the reality of him not physically being here is clouding the reality that he will always be here, and that not physically being here means he is no longer suffering, but forever living in and with peace.
 
 I pray that in their mourning they seek out God and seek to rejoice, pray, and give thanks for God and for Him not only bringing David to them, but allowing them to spend as much physical time as they have with David. I pray that they rejoice, pray, and give thanks for the challenges, the battles, and the pain over the years because with these things they have grown stronger and more resilient. I pray that David’s life brings them closer together, helps them overcome past issues, and prevents future ones.
 
 I pray that they don’t see David’s passing as a loss, but as a gain, because David has been promoted to his next level of existence. David has gone on to bigger and better things, experiences, and realities. He physically cannot be seen or touched, but through memories and laughter, he will always be felt and seen spiritually. David was a physically fit man who loved to exercise and roller skate, his condition prior to being promoted didn’t allow for him to do the things he loved—but now he can.
 
 I know what it’s like to ‘lose’ a loved one, I have ‘lost’ many. I know what it’s like to ‘lose’ a parent, my dad was suddenly and without warning promoted by God in 2001. I had so much guilt built up because I didn’t return his phone call ‘in time’ that day, because I didn’t get the chance to say, “I love you dad” and “see you later”, and because I didn’t pay attention to earlier signs of a heart attack. I had nightmares because I would flash back to the moment I found him in his office. I couldn’t shake the image.
 
 I was torn between embracing his sudden promotion and wanting to disconnect for awhile from the world. So I found a reasonable middle ground. I knew my dad would not want me to mourn him because he lived such an amazing life, flaws and all, and he had such a giving heart, so why wouldn’t I celebrate his life, legacy, and promotion to eternal life?
 
 My middle ground was living my life, growing comfortable speaking about his, doing everything and anything I could to be a great student of Christ and servant leader, and doing what I could to make him proud and to make myself proud. I have spent the past 13 years growing, healing, and celebrating life—mine and my dad’s. I have failed and succeeded, fallen but always gotten back up. I know dad is proud of me. Yes, there are times I cry because I miss him, because I want to see and hear him experience the great things that are going on in my life, and because I want to ask him for professional, personal, and spiritual advice. Then I eventually smile, thank God, tell my dad I love him, and talk to him anyway, knowing he can’t interrupt me [smile].
 
 I pray that my friend Carman and her family find a comfortable middle ground that they can eventually grow and mature into a higher ground of acceptance and celebration, because honestly, David wouldn’t want them to be constantly mourning him, depressed that he’s not physically around, and falling short of the greatness that he challenged himself and them to reach each day. David always wanted the best for his family, and flaws and all, David did his best to provide what he could when he could to his family.
 
 I hope by sharing David and Carman’s life and experience, and by sharing my own, that each of us take this time to rejoice, pray, and give thanks. I hope that we make this a natural habit each day. Life as we know it has a time limit, and we don’t know when that time will end, but what we can do is live our lives to the fullest each and every day, forgiving ourselves and others, shaking off depression and guilt, pushing ourselves to greatness, so that we and our families are better prepared for the day when we too are promoted.
 
 Carman I love you and your family. You all are a part of my extended family and I want you to know that you can thrive and shine brightly because God has equipped you to do so, and your dad gave you many examples of how to do it here and now. Don’t let the enemy convince you that life can never be good or better because David isn’t physically here. David is in each and every person that he encountered, embraced, and spent quality time with. Just as we are to look for Jesus in others, look for your dad in others—then smile, laugh, and say, “thank You!”
 
 I share these same words with and for all of you reading this. We must be selfless during change. We must embrace the change in order to grow and see the rainbow after the storm. The longer we resist the longer it takes for us to breathe and be free.

 
 Rejoice. Pray. Give thanks.
 
 
 
 Copyright 2014. Natasha Foreman Bryant. All Rights Reserved.
 
 
 

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

This article is so delayed it’s not even funny. My first draft was ready on May 3rd but I had technical difficulties with posting. But today is still an awesome day to share an amazing story no matter how many weeks ago it took place.

A few weekends ago I had the honor and privilege to spend time with and share a moment in history with Ambassador Andrew Young and his family and friends, and Martin Luther King III and his wife Arndrea King.

It was the weekend of April 29th to May 1st and I arrived a day early (on the 28th) so I could be well-rested and prepared for the events and activities that were awaiting me.

To hear Ambassador Young speak Friday, the night before the unveiling of his portrait (at the Smithsonian) about his life, his friendship with Dr. King, how the late Jean Childs Young and Coretta Scott King knew each other long before their husbands met, and grew up in the same small town was so moving. I have heard that story before but this night had a different impact on all of us. This was a very special weekend.

Ambassador Andrew Young April 29, 2011 at pre-unveiling reception at Smithsonian. Photo Source: Natasha L. Foreman

To hear Ambassador Young speak of his beloved second wife Carolyn and all that she has done to help him, his family, and his mission since they married touched my heart. To hear about the struggle in the 1960s and to stop and reflect on how detailed his memory truly is had me very humble and honored for all the moments that I have shared with him and his family.

Quote at Dr. King Memorial Park April 30, 2011 Photo Source: Natasha L. Foreman

We visited the memorial site for the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and we honored the work, dedication, sacrifice, and contributions made by our beloved Ambassador Andrew Young as his oil on canvas portrait was revealed at the Smithsonian on Saturday.

Words cannot describe how I felt to see Dr. King’s memorial in all of its glory. We were only allowed to take pictures of the park and periphery so that no one revealed the wondrous creation to the world before the official reveal date. That set in deep in my heart to know that I was about to witness something for the first time, and that I would witness it with members of both the King and Young family.

At Dr. King Memorial Park in Washington DC April 30, 2011. Photo Source: Natasha L. Foreman
Men doing God's work around the world. April 30, 2011. Photo Source: Natasha L. Foreman

To later see Ambassador Young’s portrait unveiled and to be in the presence of other Civil Rights leaders, influencers, and their children was awesome. Tears filled many eyes including mine as they reflected on the past and the journey to today (and their hope for the future). To see Mayor Kasim Reed’s eyes as he looked to the man he calls a mentor and one of the reasons he ran for office in Atlanta, made me proud and reinforced my belief in mentoring and volunteering in the community.

Ambassador Andrew Young's portrait unveiled April 30, 2011.
Ambassador Young with beloved wife Carolyn Young and friends- Photo Source: Natasha L. Foreman

To spend time with friends Martin and Arndrea King is always a pleasure, but spending three days in DC with them for this momentous occasion took on a different feel altogether.

With friends Martin Luther King III and wife Arndrea King at Smithsonian unveiling April 30, 2011. Photo Source: Natasha L. Foreman
Martin Luther King III and Jerry Clark at Dr. King Memorial Park April 30, 2011 Photo Source: Natasha L. Foreman

How does it feel to see a beautiful and powerful memorial erected in your father’s honor and memory? If it were me, it would require a second visit within weeks of the first. To know that Martin and Arndrea’s daughter, Yolanda will one day carry the torch that was lit by her great grandparents, passed down to Dr. and Mrs. King her grandparents, then to her father, aunts, and uncle makes me pause and smile brightly. This is what a legacy is all about.

I’m honored to have taken part in this weekend, in this historical moment, and with people who I consider friends, mentors, and angels!

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.
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